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Woman jailed for kidnapping baby from hospital and raising as her own for 17 years

Zephany Nurse was snatched from a maternity ward when she was a newborn. Finally, her kidnapper has been jailed.

A mother has been jailed for 10 years for kidnapping a baby and raising it as her own.

The conviction occurred in South Africa where baby Zephany Nurse was taken from a maternity ward at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town by a kidnapper 19 years ago, ABC News reports.

In a remarkable coincidence, Zephany attended the same school as her younger biological sister. Her real identity was only unveiled after fellow students pointed to their similarity in looks and the younger daughter told her parents about their likeness.

DNA tests confirmed her identity, leading to the arrest of the woman who had claimed to be her mother for nearly two decades.

Eric Ntabazalila, spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority, said they had sought a 15-year sentence for the kidnapper.

“She gets 10 years’ direct imprisonment. We are happy with that,” said Ntabazalila.

“You cannot go out and steal a child and expect that the society will accept that, or the courts will accept that, or the general public will accept that. It’s wrong, it’s a crime.”

During the trial Zephany’s biological mother wept while describing waking up in the maternity ward to find her baby girl gone.

WATCH: Woman fights off would-be child kidnapper

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